Disability hate crime

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2013 National Delegate Conference
25 February 2013
Carried as Amended

Any incident or crime, which is perceived to be motivated because of a person’s disability or perceived disability, by the victim or any other person, will be classed as “Disability Hate”.

This can be committed against a person or property.

This would include anyone who is targeted as a result of their physical disability, sensory impairment, learning disability or mental health.

Disability Hate Crime can be carried out in or near the home, in the street, in fact anywhere.

Whenever or wherever it happens it has a devastating effect on the health and wellbeing of the person who has experiencing it.

Some of these effects may be:

1)loss of self confidence;


3)lack of concentration;

4)loss or increase of appetite;

5)discrimination in the workplace;


7)fear of leaving the house;

8)physical, emotional and/or sensory impairment.

UNISON recognises that disability hate crime may not happen in the work place but the affects of it may have a profound impact on that person at work. Time off work to deal with recuperation from injury, assistance with police investigations or the installation of improved security measures within the member’s home and other related hate crime absences should be treated as disability leave.

UNISON believes all forms of discrimination should be dealt with fairly with equal weight. Stewards and branches need to be aware of it and how they can support our member during and after these experiences especially in the case of Deaf members for whom the experience of hate crime may be heightened due to:

a)the predator’s ability to approach without audible warning;

b)kerbcrawlers’ verbal assaults being inaccessible and intimidating;

c)police reporting systems being largely inaccessible to Deaf people.

Conference asks the National Executive Council to:

i)work with other sections of UNISON and external organisations to campaign on the issue of disability hate crime;

ii)to raise the awareness of disability hate crime in union publications and website, in easy to read, plain English, to give the message that disability hate crime will not be tolerated and that union stewards and branches will support members;

iii)to campaign for disability hate crime to be treated equally to other forms of hate crime;

iv)contact all Police and Crime Commissioners asking them to make disability hate crime a priority

We further call on the National Executive Council to lobby police authorities and Police and Crime Commissioners to take action to ensure disabled and Deaf people are protected from hate crimes and that the processes for seeking advice and registering complaints of crime are available in all accessible formats, including British Sign Language and in appropriate formats to those who have learning difficulties.